Oops! We did it again.

We bought another house!

Before I go any further, I have to clarify: Do not do this at home. Phil and I firmly believe that buying a house is a bad idea. We’ve been telling each other that repeatedly as we go through this process. Some of our belief is based on the fact that we probably shouldn’t have bought our first house at all. We were renting an apartment but were ready to move up in the world. We fell for the false schpiel of “renting is throwing money down a hole; owning a house is a good investment, etc.” Baloney. Owning a house is throwing money down a hole. Lots of money. Money for new roofs, leaks, termites, plumbing problems, higher utility bills, home insurance, and more! We were tricked by the idea that the next “thing to do” was buy a house. We’d done everything else: go to college, graduate, get married. . .next up in the sequence was buy a house. As a result, we own a home in Minneapolis that is not worth as much as we owe to Wells Fargo for the mortgage. All is not totally lost, however, because we are renting it for enough to cover the mortgage at least.

So why did we decide to buy again if it’s such a bad idea? That makes us either stupid or hypocritical. (Or both?) Here are a few things that are different this time. First, our money rules. We decided that we were not allowed to buy a house that we couldn’t put 20% down on and still have an acceptable emergency savings fund. That rule may not be for everyone, but that’s what we are comfortable with. To us, that is the benchmark for being able to “afford” a house. Not what the lender says (which was laughable-like $150K more than we felt we could spend with only 5% down) and not what other people around us are spending/doing. That part has been frustrating for me; it’s hard to live by a stricter rule than other people around you, hard not to compare yourself and what you have, etc.

Also, we plan to live in this house for much longer, and we know more of what we want/need in a house. When we first bought, we thought we could have up to 2 kids in that house. Looking back, that was pretty ridiculous. Even with just one baby, I was never comfortable with each bedroom being on a separate level. And the living room was really not capable of handling the accumulation of baby stuff. But this time, we are wiser to what we need in a house and more committed to the style of living that works for us. Mostly that means waging constant warfare against the accumulation of “stuff” and having a WAY SUPER OPEN kitchen, like basically the kitchen should be the living room, too.

So on to the details. The house is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1600 sq. ft. There are original hardwoods throughout. But it needs some love. As in, totally new bathrooms and kitchen. Plus lots of little maintenance issues and upgrades. We will hopefully close on June 20th and move in by July 1st! Keep your fingers crossed for us!


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